Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: Looking Ahead 2017: Can Nigeria Work Its Way Back As Africa's No1 Football Super Power?
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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Nigeria urges it's fans around the world to get ready for SUPER HEROIC CELEBRATIONS in 2017! Super Eagles winning it's first...

Nigeria urges it's fans around the world to get ready for SUPER HEROIC CELEBRATIONS in 2017!
Super Eagles winning it's first two matches of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after the Dream team won Bronzes medal at the Rio Olympics and Super Falcons won African Women Cup of Nation (AWCON) in Cameroon for the 8th time, hopes are high that Nigeria can return to it's place as Africa's number one football power house.

There seems to be a kind of revival going on after the free fall, which saw two indigenous tactians: Late Stephen Keshi and Sunday Oliseh frustrated out of the job as Nigeria national team head coaches, and Samson Siasia waved aside by an Nff President Amaju Pinnick, who insisted on bringing in the 20th foreign coach by all means.


During the cold war against indigenous coaches...just after Nigeria won African cup of Nation in 2013 and participated successfully at the 2014 World Cup; came the imbroglio that caused Nigeria's free fall at the Fifa rankings.

 Super Eagles failed to qualify for AFCON 2017, for two consecutive editions; Golden Eaglets failed to qualify for the Under16 World Cup... to defend the title it won back to back in 2013 and 2015 consecutively. Flying  Eagles didn't also qualify for the Under21 world cup... It was spate of poor results at all level of the national teams.

Of course, at the club level, Eyinmba and Warri Wolves didn't go far at the continental competitions... in both CAF Champions League and the Caf Cup.  So as usual you would think most football consumers would turn their interest towards Premier League and other European football.


But something unusual rather happened... over 22, 000 spectators throng Sani Abacha stadium in NPFLeague match day one between Kano Pillars Vs Enugu Rangers... And at the final league match between Enugu Rangers Vs El Kanemi, 58, 000 spectators besieged the 30, 000 Capacity Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium....which represented an average of 200% attendance increase.

Television viewership on SuperSports also grew as well as social media participation, especially on Twitter.


The revival may be for real with the crop of young quality players rising to the occasion Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun, Etebo Ogenekaro... And more experienced stars like Victor Moses, Mikel Obi, Ahamed Musa, Ogeniyi Onazi... forming a formidable squad under the watchful eyes of the German tactician Gorath Rohr.

Of course, indications has shown that the foreign coach will enjoy more support and respect from NFF technical committee. That immediately tells you that something more on the positive side will happen in 2017.

As Nigeria's government continues to work hard in other to overturn the current economic recession biting everyone painfully...football will take it's rightful place as "Opium of the masses;" providing cause to rejoicing and be happy in the midst of the suffering.

The football industry will be one of the industries that will greatly resist the economic recession. Football business will flourish in 2017. Nigeria will actively seek for ways to get cheap entertainment. Football being their first love and one of the cheapest form of entertainment you can get anywhere in Nigeria. We would see people still trolling into viewing centers to watch matches - Premiership and Uefa champions league. We also expect that NPFLeague sustains the current interest and perhaps; a slight growth in attendance.


More Npfl clubs may have increased funds from Shirt Sponsorships, tv right fund share, tickets from increased match attendance. There may realize the need to eatablish a more robust marketing department or work with Sport marketing agencies.

We hope Enugu Rangers and Ifeanyi Uba FC represent the country well at the continental level. It is difficult to tell how they will fare. Rangers haven't compete at this level in 32 years and Ifeanyi Uba is quite new at the continental area.

But we may see Rangers merchandise compete favorable with that of premier league clubs in most sports shops in Enugu and Anambra state... Perhaps, coming to Abuja and Lagos if the club continues to perform well in the Caf champions league and Npfl.

That will also lead to the transfer of players abroad. Although, we feel that the non participation of Nigeria in the coming Afcon, U21 and U16 world cup, may affect that area of the business.

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